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Alabama Senate narrowly approves lottery bill

The Alabama Senate has narrowly approved a lottery bill.

Posted: Apr 25, 2019 4:26 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Latest on debate on lottery legislation being considered by the Alabama Legislature (all times local):

4:18 p.m.

The Alabama Senate has narrowly approved a lottery bill.

Senators on Thursday voted 21-12 for the bill. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives. The bill passed with the minimum 21 votes required to pass a constitutional amendment.

The bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore would limit a lottery to paper tickets and not allow video lottery terminals.

Senators added two amendments aimed at preventing the "paper" requirement from being used to shut down electronic bingo games at state dog tracks.

If approved by the House and Senate, the proposal would go before voters on March 3, 2020.

Alabama is one of five states without a state lottery.

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2:45 p.m.

The Alabama Senate has begun debate on a lottery bill.

Senators began debate Thursday afternoon and could vote later in the day.

The bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore would limit a lottery to paper tickets and not allow video lottery terminals.

After debate began there were immediate disagreements on electronic gambling.

Senators stripped a committee amendment on the bill to allow electronic bingo.

Sen. Bobby Singleton said he was trying to protect state dog tracks' existing bingo operations. Albritton said he was concerned it would have allowed widespread gambling.

If approved by the House and Senate, the proposal would go before voters on March 3, 2020.

Alabama is one of five states without a state lottery.

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9:21 a.m.

The Alabama Senate will debate a lottery bill today.

Senate Rules Chairman Jabo Waggoner said Thursday that he expects a lengthy debate on the bill. Waggoner said it is the only bill on the proposed debate agenda.

The bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore would limit a lottery to paper tickets and not allow video lottery terminals.

If approved by the House and Senate, the proposal would go before voters on March 3, 2020.

Alabama is one of five states without a state lottery.

One focus of the debate will be on whether electronic gambling should be allowed.

Senators who support the state dog tracks said they want to either allow video lottery terminals at the track or ensure that the tracks' current electronic bingo operations can continue.

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